What if I told you the most important 140 characters you write on Twitter aren’t your actual tweets, but your Twitter bio? Well, it’s not far from the truth, especially if you consider that your Twitter bio is often the deciding factor in whether or not someone follows you. Unfortunately, we don’t think about that and many of us create our Twitter accounts without giving any thought to optimizing our bio.
In yesterday’s post on mastering good blogger outreach  I talked about how small business owners can use tools like Tweepz  to search Twitter bios and help them find blogger and media contacts to reach out to. Well, guess what? Small business owners aren’t the only ones searching Twitter bios to find relevant people to follow. So are news outlets, potential customers and anyone else interested in learning more about your brand or industry. So what are you leaving in there for people to find?
Below are 4 quick tips to help you craft the perfect Twitter bio to make sure you’re attracting the right people and allowing like-minded folks to find you.
1. Use Keywords
As I mentioned above, you’re not the only one searching Twitter to hunt out potential contacts – so are your vendors, customers, would-be customers, colleagues, etc. Make it easier for them to find you by incorporating the keywords they’re most likely to search for. If you’re not sure what types of keywords to include, ask yourself:
- Who do you want to connect with on Twitter?
- Who would you want to find you?
- What would they be looking for? What need would they have?
These are the types of terms you want to be sure to use to help people locate your account. Be careful not to use too many, of course, or your bio becomes unreadable and appears spammy. But you’re on Twitter for a specific business purpose, it makes sense that your bio would reflect a bit of that.
2. Use a Real Location
Something that makes Twitter unique compared to many other social networking sites is that there’s no site standard for how people handle the Location box. Twitter asks, “Where in the world are you?” and users are able to fill in their city, state, country or even make up something they find particularly witty. While it may be tempting to get creative, don’t. Always opt to include your full city and state. This is important for people who want to add you to neighborhood- or city-specific Twitter lists, media contacts who want to talk to someone in their local area, or even a potential customer who is looking to find someone knowledgeable about tile within 50 miles of their home. If I’m looking to talk to someone about insurance in my area, setting your location as “up, up in the air” won’t help me find you. Again, you’re using Twitter for a reason. By giving detailed, relevant and accurate information, you help the right people find you.
3. Describe What You Really Do
Another area where Twitter users get clever is in giving themselves fake titles. Again, I would urge you to resist the temptation and to use the limited space you have to accurately describe what you do. While it’s nice that you consider yourself the “Wizard of SM,” what people really need to know is that you’re the “Director of Social Media” for your company. While you may jokingly call yourself a “Web Fairy,” if your real title is “Lead Web Designer,” use that, because that’s what people will be searching for and it’s how they’ll get to learn a bit more about you. Users don’t always have much to go on when they’re evaluating whether or not someone is worth following. Make sure you’re giving them the proper information.
4. Don’t Use a Shortened URL
Twitter offers you space to share your URL with whoever is looking at your Twitter profile. Take advantage of it. And when you include a link, make sure it’s the full link to your website, blog, social profile, etc. Avoid using a shortened URL; using a full one helps people trust that you’re sending them to a trusted location. An unfamiliar URL from an unfamiliar user account can turn someone off before they even have the chance to investigate what you’re all about.
Just because Twitter doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for you to tell the world who you are and what you’re about (that’s what your tweets are for), doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make good use of the space that you do have. What you include in your Twitter bio can often be the main factor in whether or not someone follows you. It can also be the only hope they have of even finding you on the site. Make sure you optimize your bio as much as possible to help you attract the right people.